Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Snuffkin

Snufkin (original Swedish and Norwegian: Snusmumriken, Finnish: Nuuskamuikkunen, Spanish: Manrico, Estonian: Nuuskmõmmik, Danish: Mumrikken, Polish: Włóczykij) is a character in the Moomin series of books authored by Swedish-speaking Finn Tove Jansson, appearing in six of the nine books. He is the best friend of the series’ protagonist, Moomintroll, and lives a nomadic lifestyle, only staying in Moominvalley in the spring and summer, but leaving for warmer climates down south every winter. He is the son of the elder Mymble and the Joxter, and is half-brother to the Mymble’s daughter and Little My.

Snufkin wears old green clothes and a wide brimmed hat he has had since birth. He lives in a tent, smokes a pipe and plays the harmonica. Snufkin also has a great dislike for authority figures such as the Park Keeper, and the many regulation signs and fences he erects. At one point he sabotages the Park Keeper by planting Hattifatteners in his garden, causing them to grow and drive him out. He has a great hatred for all symbols of private property, even losing his temper with the Hemulen after the latter attempts to put up a sign declaring “Moominvalley”.

Snufkin prefers freely-growing foliage to fenced-in lawns. Snufkin keeps as few worldly possessions as possible, seeing them as a burden, and being happier keeping the memory of a thing than the thing itself. This aspect of his personality is contrasted in the character of Sniff.

Tove Jansson based the character of Snufkin on her friend and one-time fiancé, Atos Wirtanen.

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